CALUM HODG­SON, cheese­mon­ger at Sa­bato, shares a cur­rent favourite.

Cuisine - - CHAMPAGNE $100 & UNDER -

KAIK­OURA CHEESE WAS launched five years ago af­ter its founders, Daniel and Sarah Jenk­ins, had a cheese epiphany while rock climb­ing in France’s Gorges du Ver­don. The com­pany was shoved into life care of the Christchurch earth­quake, with Daniel, Sarah and their chil­dren among many young fam­i­lies to leave the city in the wake of the 2011 dis­as­ter.

They moved to Kaikōura and bought three Saa­nen milk­ing goats, which Sarah took care of while Daniel tuned into the cheese­mak­ing vibe, both work­ing in­stinc­tively and ask­ing the neigh­bours for help. A lot of cheese was thrown out in the process, but they’ve now found their groove and are riff­ing out more com­plex goat cheeses from the small dairy fac­tory they’ve cre­ated to ac­com­mo­date “the band”.

When emo­tions are height­ened from ma­jor events, it’s a good time to get cre­ative and in­ter­pret what’s go­ing on around you. In the wake of last year’s Kaikōura earth­quake, the Kaik­oura Cheese team got to­gether and formed a new cheese to ex­press the mood of the town. The re­sult is Love and Fury, a young, pas­teurised Jer­sey cow’s milk, lac­tic-set cheese with flavour pro­files of tangy yo­ghurt and warm but­ter. Lac­tic, crumbly and scream­ing for booze. Noth­ing can pre­pare you for the flavour you will ex­pe­ri­ence from this cheese, as noth­ing could pre­pare team Kaik­oura for what has hap­pened to them over the past year. Daniel and Sarah Jenk­ins from Kaik­oura Cheese are NZ cheese rock stars. sa­

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